CHILDREN: THINGS TO DO IN LONDON

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The Independent Culture
Family Festival Museum of London, 150 London Wall, London EC2 (071-600 3699) today to 31 Aug, 12-5.50pm. pounds 2 children, pounds 4 adults, pounds 9,50 family, under-5s free

Meeting Dick Whittington's cat, taking part in a quiz and watching a Victorian Punch and Judy show are just some of the things you can do at this museum, which traces the history of London from prehistoric times to the present day. If you only fancy a brief visit, a top tip is that it's free to get in after 4.30pm, which gives you a good hour to look round before chucking-out time. If you do pay, an added bonus is that your ticket is valid for three months, so if you want to come back again, it's free.

Costumed Revelries Ranger's House, Blackheath, London SE10 (0181-853 0035) 30 and 31 Aug, noon, pounds 2.50 adults, pounds 1.30 children, free for members of English Heritage and under-5s

Visitors can watch a variety of period dances and try out some basic dance steps with dancers in powdered wigs and flamboyant costumes at this 17th- century red-brick villa on the edge of Greenwich Park. While you're in the area, check out the park, the market, the Cutty Sark and everything else that makes this the UK's top tourist destination.

Chiswick Extravaganza Chiswick House, Burlington Lane, London W4 (0181-933 2055) 31 Aug, 2-6pm, free

This annual free festival on the back lawns of this historic house has loads to keep children entertained. There's a clown show, storytellers, music and dance from all around the world, plus crafts stalls and children's rides. If you want to visit the house (normal admission charges apply - pounds 3 adults and pounds 1.50 children), then at noon on Sunday and Monday they will be presenting Frocks and Frippery, a costumed performance featuring a society hostess donning her finery.

Lullingstone Roman Villa (above), near Eynsford, Kent (01322 863 467) 30 and 31 Aug, noon, adults pounds 3, children pounds 1.50, free for English Heritage members and under-5s

Comedy puppet show about historical events and characters such as Julius Caesar, plus Celtic stories and archaeology workshops, are on offer at this villa which lay hidden for 1,500 years.

Elizabethan England

Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, Singleton, Chichester, Sussex (01243 811348) today to 31 Aug, 10.30-5pm, pounds 5.20 adults, pounds 2.50 children, pounds 14 family, under 5s free.

See what daily life was like at harvest time back in the 16th century. Some other attractions at the museum include a medieval farm with livestock, a water mill and a Victorian school.

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